The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has projected that Nigeria’s economy will record a growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2021, representing 1.5 percent higher growth rate than earlier predicted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
To meet its projection and shape the nation’s economy’s outlook this year, the group, in its 2021 Macroeconomic Outlook Report titled ‘Four Priorities for the Nigerian Economy in 2021 and Beyond’ launched virtually on Tuesday.
Specifically, the 77-page report stated that for the economy to become upswing in performance, it needed a high, robust and sustained economic policy thrusts for tackling unemployment and poverty.
According to the NESG, in the 2021 fiscal year, the government’s most important agenda in 2021 should be to frontally tackle the twin-problem of unemployment and poverty in order to create a solid foundation for economic recovery in the short term and inclusive economic growth in the future.
The group further reported that in line with the expected recovery of the global economy in 2021, Nigeria is also projected to exit the recession this year, cautioning, howerer, that to get the economy out of the woods, Nigeria needs more than a simple GDP rebound, especially taking into consideration the last recovery cycle.
The NESG report listed the key policies and events that would impact the nation’s economy this year as, mass production and administration of COVID-19 vaccines globally, implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), introduction of special bills by the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to manage excess liquidity in the system, and OPEC+ agrees to boost oil output.
Others include, COVID-19 partial lockdown and social distancing; completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway Project; Early implementation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill and the Reopening of land borders.
The group also projected revenue to increase by 23.3 per cent in 2021 and said exchange rate will become stable and key inclusive growth indicators such as unemployment and poverty rates will gradually reduce overtime.
Commenting on the report findings, NESG Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, said in 2021, many of the challenges encountered in 2020 will remain, or perhaps become amplified, adding that “so will the expectations of citizens and the business community on the government to address these challenges.
“The overall goal must be to attain a favourable business environment and improve the welfare of the average Nigerian,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian economy in Q4, 2020 slipped into its second recession in five years as the country’s gross domestic product contracted by -3.62%, compared with a 6.1% contraction in the previous quarter.